Deny, Run, Or Accept/Destruct
We often feel that what is kept in our head, in the privacy of our space, or between a tight knit group of friends will never come out to express its ugly face. I have recently gone through this process of thinking what I thought and did in private came wouldn’t come out into the public and reared its ugly face. It did and I had to choose to either deny it, run from it, or accept/destruct it. Taking what I’ve learned personally I look at society different. This lesson is being learned, I hope, all over White America because of social media.
It’s seems every day, through the help of Shaun King and others, we see mostly white children posting the most racist text and pictures one can imagine. It is mind disorientating. When something like this makes no sense we have to ask serious questions concerning individuals, community, religious affiliation, and society at large. There are histories embedded in all these. These children didn’t spring out of the womb being this ignorant. There is plenty that was inherited and taught. We must ask questions of what created this person. Then ask how we combat and grow out of these hateful places.
I saw a video of children on a school bus singing, “1,2,3,4 how many n-**ers are in my store.” My jaw hit the floor. How is this possible? How hasn’t any mentor figure stepped in to correct and educate these kids? I don’t believe these kids are consciously racist. I doubt they really have any idea what they are saying. What I can venture to guess is they hear this language used at home, in town, and through media. Children copy what’s around them. The type of learning they practice is rote learning. Copying and repeating what’s around them. Their actions are on those around them.
Fast-forward to High School and College. Recent leaks of “private” social media screen shots have surfaced. For example, this image from Belmont University:
I am not saying children are smart by this point. My own history proves this point. I believe these children are the same ones on that bus. They never received correction or education. Nothing changed in their lives. Their family, community, and church are all the same, with the same message. The freshman student at Belmont University was kicked out of school for his horrendously appalling snapchat. We shouldn’t be hating him. He is in the darkness, and we need to bring light into that darkness. I hope this moment in his life is a turning point. That what was once thought to be okay amongst your group of friends, or in your own thoughts, proved to be damaging to those around you. It is a lesson we are learn and like I said, we either deny it, run from it, or accept it in order to reform/destruct it.
When we deny it we reinforce our hatred, ignorance, and this is where self-hatred thrives because if you become aware enough of the problem but still maintain your position you have to actively deny any new information that shows your faults. “That’s not me,” well it is. I did it. I said it. I thought it. There’s no need to deny it because I can change, this is one thing doesn’t define the essence of who I am, but it is a part of me, and I need to make it apart from me. The continuation of denial can lead you to be that guy at a political rally punching a woman in the face. That’s not a good place to be in. Ever.
When we run from it we merely move the problem to a different location. We might change our friends, and get a new community, but chances are if you are still the same you will choose the same group of friends. They will reinforce the problem and you find yourself in the same spot because you can’t change a thing about your world until you address what you have inside of you.
When we accept/destruct it we create the potential for a new future, a new narrative. In the place of self-acceptance, we open the doors of forgiveness. We create the possibility of a new relationship with our self, and others. These new relationships are catalyst to becoming a better person. They aid in the destruction of the destructive aspects of who we are. Every impulse may be to run away as fast as you can because of the shame and embarrassment, but I encourage you, I’m encouraging myself, to center yourself, be humble, be merciful, and pray/act for change.